Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Teaching and Learning (Education)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Elizabeth Harry

Second Committee Member

Batya Elbaum

Third Committee Member

Wendy Morrison-Cavendish

Fourth Committee Member

Jomillis henry Braddock II

Fifth Committee Member

Miriam Lipsky


Despite the reform efforts and progress of teacher education programs to better equip teachers to teach in urban settings, research continues to report a pressing need for high quality teachers who understand the need for culturally responsive teaching. Faced with the tremendous structural forces working against historically underserved students, scholars and researchers expect teacher education to address inequalities through the promotion of multicultural education coursework and student-teaching placements in urban settings where student-teachers can gain experience with culturally diverse students. This qualitative study used interviews and observations to trace study four participants’ perceptions about their student-teaching experience as it unfolded in inclusive, urban classrooms and their opportunities to learn within this context. Qualitative methods using inductive and deductive approaches were used to analyze the data. The inductive aspects were investigated using a grounded theory approach. Darling-Hammond and Bransford’s (2005) model was used as a frame for exploring the role that the student-teaching experience has in preparing student-teachers to become change agents, equipped to work with diverse students, in urban, high-needs schools. The Darling-Hammond framework was also used for the deductive analysis of the data. The inductive and deductive analysis revealed the strengths and challenges of the student-teachers experience in navigating the constraints of their urban, high-needs school.


Student teaching; urban; secondary; teacher candidates; preservice teaching